Re: Recommendations for scanning photos #photographs

Peter Cherna

Lots of good comments above. For sure you'll get best results from a flatbed scanner.

Scanning time is another factor to keep in mind. The Canon LiDE 220 is a very good inexpensive scanner and at 600dpi produces scans very quickly. Raising the scanning resolution severely slows things down and makes for much larger files. I do most of my scanning at 600dpi, but very precious photos where the original is in good shape I might do at 1200dpi. In rare cases, e.g. a small-sized print (e.g. 2x2 inch) that I want to maximize what I get from it I might go to 2400dpi. In these cases I get results that look great at full screen on a quality monitor and would print well at or above the original size. But not what I would call museum quality.

Many of these files are 30-50MB each, if not larger. So storage and backup becomes a factor if you have a lot.

And dust cleaning takes time, whether you do with extreme care before scanning, or cleaning post facto in software.

In the event that the photos are in fact of historical significance to a museum, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum does accept photos, and those they accept are scanned by professional archivists. They keep the originals but you get the scans. 

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